Breaking Ground

Hilma of Klimt, Altarpiece, 1907.
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The Boat and the Town

Some of the "Isms" of Modern Art
Abstract Expressionism
Alexandra Exter, The Boat and the Town, 1925.










In the Garden

Expressionism =
1. general term for art that emphasizes inner feelings and emotions over objective depiction
2. a modernist art movement that was a manifestation of subjective feeling toward objective reality and the world of imagination. Characterized by bold, vigorous brushwork, emphatic line, and bright color.
Paula Modersohn-Becker, Alte Armenhäuslerin in the Garden, 1906.











Jawlensky and Werefkin

Characteristics of Expressionism:
Desire to express personal attitudes and emotions
  • Vivid imagery
  • Simplified shapes
  • Dramatic use of color
  • Bold, sometimes crude brushwork
  • Sense of liberation and experimentation
impasto = painting technique in which paint is applied thickley and in a manner that draws attention to the gesture
Gabriele Münter, Jawlensky and Werefkin, 1908 - 1909.











Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-portrait, 1561.
Paula Modersohn-Becker, Self-Portrait with Amber Necklace, 1906.











Expressionist characteristics in Becker's work:
  • Vivid imagery
  • Simplified shapes
  • Dramatic use of color
  • Bold, sometimes crude brushwork
  • Sense of liberation and experimentation
Paula Modersohn-Becker, Mother and Child Lying Nude, 1907.











Neeling Mother and Child
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Paula Modersohn-Becker, Kneeling Mother and Child, 1907.
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.











Type of Women
Les Demoiselles D'Avignon
Edmond Fortier, Type of Women, West Africa, 1906.
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.











Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.
Hilma of Klint, The Tens Mainstay, 1907.











Hilma of Klimt, Tree of Knowledge, 1913.
Vassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII, 1923.










Le Bal Bullier

Sonia Delaunay, Bal Bullier, 1913. Oil on mattress ticking.  38 1/8" X 12'8".











Basic objective of Cubism was to depict three-dimensional objects from all sides at once

Electric Prisms

  • To represent an object as the mind sees it rather than as the eye sees it
  • Little to no perspective or illusionism
  • No chiaroscuro
  • No story to validate the subject
  • Modern, present-day subject
Sonia Delaunay, Electric Prisms, 1914.











Delaunay Family 1911












Sonia Delaunay, Couverture, 1911. Appliqued fabric.











In 1964 Delaunay became the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibiton at the Louvre


Sonia and Citroen

Sonia Delaunay, Clothes and customized Citroen B-12, 1925.











Sonia Delaunay swimwear
Sonia Delaunay in Pajamas of her own design, 1925.











Lubov Tchernicheva as Cleopatra, 1918
Sonia Delaunay, Cleopatra Costume, 1918.






















Historical Context
1906 - 1920
Women gain the right to vote in Finland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States
1914 - 1918
World War I
Over 37 milion deaths
Treaty of Versailles forces Germany, Austria and Hungary to accept responsibility for causing WWI and pay heavy reparations to certain Allied Nations
1919 - 1933
German Weimar Republic
1917 - 1920
Russian Revolution
1919 - 1921
Irish War of Independence
Formation of the Soviet Union
Fascists under Benito Mussolini seize power in Italy
Immigration Act restricts Eastern and Southern European nationalities, bans East Asians, Indians and Africans, and regulates Latin Americans from immigrating to U.S. Coincides with growth of KKK.
1926 - 1953
Stalin gains control of the Soviet Union
First "talkie" movie, The Jazz Singer
Great Depression begins











Cut with the Kitchen Knife

Hannah Höch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife Dada through the last Weimar
Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany
, 1919 - 1920.












Cut with the Kitchen Knife

Photomontage = a photographic collage that is photographed so that the final image is converted back into a photographic print
Höch organizes the photomontage into four quadrants:
  • Upper right = Anti Dada world
  • Lower right = The Great Dada World
  • Upper left = "Dada" springs from Einstein's head
  • Lower left = figure demands that the masses join Dada
Dada = a nonsensical term used to define an international artistic and literary movement.  Born of the widespread disillusionment engendered by World War I, it attacked conventional standards of aesthetics and behavior and stressed absurdity and the role of the unpredictable in artistic creation.
Hannah Höch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife Dada through the last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany, 1919 - 1920.











"I beg you, gentlemen, a medal for a woman, that would really be going too far... Orders and medals of honor belong on the breasts of worthy men!" - Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1898

Kaiser Wilhelm

Kaiser Wilhelm II
Kåthe Kollwitz, Outbreak, 1903.











"It was not very easy for a woman to impose herself as a modern artist in Germany...Most of our male colleagues continued for a long time to look upon us as charming and gifted amateurs, denying us implicitly any real professional status." - Hannah Höch
Hans Richter described Höch's contribution to the Dada movement as the "sandwiches, beer and coffee she managed somehow to conjure up despite the shortage of money." Raoul Hausmann even suggested that the best thing Höch could do for Dada was to support him financially. This was during the time that Hausmann was living with both Höch and his wife, whom he refused to divorce in order to commit himself to his relationship with Höch (Wikipedia).
Hannah Höch and Raul Hausmann at the International Dada Fair, 1920.










"They all wanted this 'new woman' and her groundbreaking will to freedom. But they more or less brutally rejected the notion that they, too, had to adopt new attitudes." - Hannah Höch

Beautiful Girl

Photomontage - a collage of separate photographs that is re-photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seemless photographic print


Hannah Höch, The Beautiful Girl, 1920.